How long does it take to get SNAP benefits if I am not eligible for emergency benefits?

DTA has to decide on your application and make sure you get your SNAP benefits within 30 days of the day you apply. The amount you get is retroactive to the date you applied if you are found eligible. 106 C.M.R. § 361.700(A).

If DTA cannot make a decision within 30 days of the day you applied because some required proofs are missing, DTA will deny your application and send you a notice of “pending denial.” If you give DTA the missing proofs within 60 days of applying and you are eligible, DTA will “reopen” your case and not make you start a new application. See What if I am having trouble getting all the proofs, or the proofs get to DTA late?.


If you submit verifications to DTA after 30 days from when you applied, it’s a good idea to call and ask the worker to double check their document files. Sometimes workers do not realize there are verifications that were faxed or mailed in after day 30. If you submitted everything listed on your denial notice before day 60 but DTA does not agree to reopen your case, you can file an appeal and/or contact an advocate.

Additional Policy Guidance
Additional Policy Guidance
  • DTA cannot deny SNAP application before Day 30; must give household enough time to comply with both interview and verification requirements. Ops Memo 2012-17 (April 25, 2012), DTA Transitions Quality Corner (January 2012).
  • DTA can only deny SNAP applications before Day 30 if household found ineligible for financial (over income) or non-financial reason (immigrant status, student status, etc.). F.O. Memo 2011-38 (Aug. 3, 2011).

Hide Additional Policy Guidance

Produced by Patricia Baker, Victoria Negus, Laura Gallant, Deborah Harris and Rochelle Hahn, Massachusetts Law Reform Institute
Last Updated January 2014
Get Help Now

You may be able to get free legal help from your local legal aid program.

Ask a Law Librarian

If it's
9am and 4pm